Fokorani Wins Old Mutual Marathon
VETERAN runners Mike Fokorani and Samukeliso Moyo proved they are still on top of their game when they emerged winners of the Old Mutual Harare marathon at Old Georgians Sports Club Sunday. Fokorani was the first to cross the finish line in the men's section in 2 hours 21 minutes 39 seconds, followed by Jonathan Chinyoka in 2:21:53.
The veteran runner took the opportunity to intensify his preparations for the Two Oceans ultra-marathon scheduled for the end of March in South Africa. “Today’s race was good looking at the weather. The weather was favourable and the way we started the race today was professional and as we got on the course we ran like professionals.
“But winning it’s just a bonus, I was not aiming to win, I was just aiming to run a good time. But at the end, I won as a reward.
“Last year I ran around 2 hours 22 minutes, so of course in terms of time it’s an improvement and at the same time I am preparing for Two Oceans. So to me, it’s a very good sign of my improvement. “I can continue with my training for Two Oceans because I have the confidence that my training is good, I am on the right track,” Fokorani said.
“On third place was Lyno Muchena who came home in 2:22:30. In the women’s section, Moyo clocked 3 hours 1 minute 14 seconds to take the title. The 44-year-old is also building-up for the Two Oceans and was happy with her victory.
“I am happy to win, but apparently not more than happy because we need these youngsters to win these races which we are running. For us in terms of pace we are now slow, so if they are there they need to run faster than we do because I am now a veteran, I will be here to encourage them not for me to beat them, meaning the development part of it or the running part of it is not good.
“I was counting myself number four as we started running . . . so I just said if I may run and finish because all I am doing I am preparing for Two Oceans. So I wasn’t looking forward to winning or something else . . . I am happy I won,” said Moyo.
Chiedza Chokore came second in 3 hours 2 minutes 47 seconds while Rutendo Mapindu, who was running her first marathon followed on third place in 3:4:33. The winners for both men and women categories got $1 500 each.
In the 21km race, Bernard Dandadzi came out tops in the men’s section in 1hr 13min 43sec and the women’s section was won by Farai Moyo in 1hr 16min 14sec.
CABS managing director, Simon Hammond, who graced the event was impressed with the turnout as the race they have been supporting over the years continues to attract some of the country’s best runners.
“It’s just been a fantastic morning, we have just been overwhelmed by the support we got from the community, I mean, I think we got about 1 200 entries or something like that, far more than we were expecting.
“I think we have just managed to publicise it well and we have built it up, it doesn’t happen overnight. We have been supporting running now for several years.
“We have some really big races that we support in South Africa, the Two Oceans marathon, the Comrades and then we thought we needed to do the same in Zimbabwe and it’s not just in Harare,” said Hammond.
Other races they support include the Vumba half marathon, Chitungwiza 10km fun run, Westgate half marathon and the Nkulumane fun run.